Jeremy Hunt has blood on his hands that will never come off and a look of anguish in his eyes as his lifetime goal slips into the abyss.
Like the Apostles with the gospel of Jesus, he set out to fulfil Thatcher’s vision to destroy the NHS while those other self-serving heretics – May, Johnson, Truss and Sunak stole through the back passageways with the coveted key to No 10.
There he stands, always the bridesmaid with a gushing smile and mouth full of lies, the rolled-up sleeves to say he’s getting things done, the NHS badge like a medal stolen from grandad’s drawer.
Never once did he lose sight of the holy mission he spelled out in 2005 in Direct Democracy: An Agenda For A New Model Party, the booklet (available on Amazon) outlining plans to privatise the NHS. Not all his own work. He co-wrote the epistle with Douglas Carswell – one of those ‘mad swivel-eyed loons,’ to quote Cameron’s description of Conservative Party activists.
And who is Douglas Carswell? Elected as a Tory MP in 2005, the co-founder of Vote Leave, he switched to the UK Independence Party in 2014 to become UKIP’s first MP. He quit the sinking ship to run the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, a righter than right free market think tank based in Jackson, Mississippi, with ideas that would make slave trader Edward Colston turn in his watery grave in the Bristol Channel.
‘‘Our ambition,’ Hunt-Carswell wrote in 2005, ‘should be to break down the barriers between private and public provision, in effect denationalising the provision of healthcare in Britain.’
Sociopaths at Heart
Thatcher-clone David Cameron shared Hunt’s aversion to the NHS, which is why in 2012 he made him Secretary of State for Health. His objective was to eradicate the power of the Junior Doctors, crush the Royal College of Nursing and dismantle the health and welfare service from the inside like woodworm in a fine old mahogany cabinet. When Theresa May danced on kitten heels into Downing Street, she kept Hunt on in the role where he remained until 2018.
In a bravura performance, Hunt played the good guy in the white shirt who believed in compromise, a nice Tory in what May had admitted was the Nasty Party with mock empathy and compassion – skills of the sociopath caught with blood on his hands.
As Caroline Molloy wrote in Open Democracy. ‘…when you looked past his press releases, you found … missed targets, lengthening waits, crumbling hospitals, missed opportunities, false solutions, funding boosts that vanished under scrutiny, and blaming everyone but himself.’
Before being let loose on the nation’s Health, Hunt from 2010 to 2012 was Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport. He paid disgraced private security firm G4S £100 million to run security at the London Olympics, an ill-fated decision that resulted in the Army being called in to clear up the mess.
Mr Squeaky Clean, the Torygraph reminds us, had his own run in with the sleaze watchdog who found him in breach of Commons rules when he claimed dishonestly more than £9,500 in second home expenses and had to pay the money back.
Why Jeremy Hunt Has Blood on his Hands
Every day we see hospital staff on the picket lines. Every day ambulances with stressed paramedics sit parked up outside hospitals while patients inside lie on trolleys in dim corridors. People wait in A&E for up to 16 hours and some die before doctors can get to them. Those wealthy, privileged men Hunt, Sunak, Shapps and the new man in the white shirt Steve Barclay blame striking nurses forced to use food banks to supplement poor wages for the growing waiting lists and turmoil. It is a lie, a hoax, a deceit.
The chaos is not accidental. It was carefully orchestrated by underfunding, bogus reorganisation, top heavy management, austerity, depressed wages, a shortage of staff since Brexit, a pinch of Covid and the fact that Britain has half the number of beds than in virtually every other country in Europe. Since 2010, the Conservative Party has removed 17,230 beds. According to the British Medical Association, the BMA, there are 2.5 beds for every 1,000 people in the UK. France, Hungary and Poland have 6 beds and Germany has 8, more than three times as many. Germany has more nurses, more doctors, better social care, higher pensions and a system of social democracy systematically obliterated in Britain.
Jeremy Hunt set out to break up the health service into bite-sized sellable pieces and has done such a good job his peerage and directorships in private health companies are assured. Some 40% of the NHS is in private hands and every one of the seventy MPs with investments in private healthcare voted in favour of the recent Health & Social Care Act, a bill that took us another step closer to privatising what remains.
Now as close to No 10 as he is ever going to get living next door at No 11, Chancellor Hunt has warned that huge cuts to public spending are in the pipeline. That means a new round of austerity and less money for hospitals, schools, pay and pensions at a time of dangerous understaffing across the public sector.
The Truss Hole
The scale of the crisis is unprecedented. Even after wiping out the mad budget and policies of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng, there is a £72 billion ‘hole’ in government finances ‘equivalent to more than £2,500 for every household in the country,’ writes economist Michael Burke in The People’s Assembly. ‘There is no question as to how Hunt and his team intend to plug that hole – workers and the poor.’
The first wave of austerity caused 330,000 excess deaths. The next wave will be just as fierce, just as terrifying. After scooping up record dividends, shareholders in BP and Shell will be rubbing their palms together in April when the rebate scheme ends and Chancellor Hunt will allow the energy cap to go up another £500 to £3,000. Millions will see their energy costs surge by another 40% and Jeremy Hunt will have more blood on his hands.
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